Letters to my sons.

Trying to explain the world to two very small children.

An old home

without comments

Dear Son,

Your Uncle Phil called me last night and told me that he had visited a house in Church Gresley that we (the Caudle family) used to live in. We lived in the house from 1971 until 1974 and only being a few days past my fourth birthday when we left, I don’t remember that much about the house or our time there but here are the things that stand out; I’m sure that as I am reminded of this time then more memories will flow.

Bath time
This memory popped in this evening when you were having your bath. I remember being bathed by my mother and someone else. The other person was female and was either Mrs Clamp or “Auntie” Gladys. Uncle Phil went to see Mrs Clamp the other night and she has been a familly firend for years but I have no idea what happened to “Auntie” Gladys. I have used quotes around her name because she wasn’t a real Auntie, my parents didn’t like us calling people who were not real Aunties or Uncles “Auntie” or “Uncle” and I agree with them. If I child is sticking the word Auntie or Uncle in front of everyones name then it becomes meaningless. My hazy recollection of “Auntie” Gladys is that she was a bit mad and talked a lot. I don’t suppose my mother could get a word in edge ways to explain her thinking on the use of the word “Auntie” before some ones name.

The one thing I remember about having this bath is having my hair washed. I, just like you did tonight, used to scream when my mother leant me back into the water to wet my hair. But this particular night I remember screaming and being conscience of the fact that I was screaming and wondering why I was screaming. Maybe this is my earliest memory or maybe it was just another example of me becoming conscience of myself.

I remember the bathroom being very white and steamy.

Bashing Uncle Phil on the Head.
I remember picking up a lump of tarmac and being surprised at how light it was for something so big. Uncle Phil was sitting down so I bashed him on the head with it. Your grandmother Audrey told me that Uncle Phil had to go to hospital and it was only when I explained to the nurses what I had done did they actually stop questioning her as if she had done it. I don’t remember the hospital visit or much else about that incident.

Locking a child in the play room
I remember that we had a play room that connected to the kitchen. I think I remember the kitchen as well but it is very hazy and not possible to describe. One day I was in the play room with a child who was younger than me and seemed to enjoy hitting and biting me. I was old enough and tall enough to open the door to the play room and escape into the kitchen and close the door behind me. The other child wasn’t able to open the door and was effectively locked in there. When my mother asked why I had done what I had done and I explained, I remember her looking at me with affection and telling me I had done the right thing.

The child next door.
I remember that there was a child that lived next to us. I think he was older then me but younger than Uncle Phil. He had a toy rifle that had a bullet on a hinge that flopped in and out of the breach. He would ask me “Are yah playing?” His voice would go up on the word “playing” and he would do an exaggerated Gallic shrug at the same time.

Going on an adventure.
I remember taking my mother by the hand and leading her down to the trees at the bottom of the garden. I learnt about Scot of the Antarctic and I claimed we were going on an adventure to the North Pole.

Need any help?
I remember that part of the garden was set aside for growing vegetables. Your grandfather John has always made room in the garden of the house where he lives to grow his own vegetables. I remember him having a bonfire and asking him if he needed any help – a ruse to get to play with the fire but my father was having none of it.

The water sprinkler and the bucket.
It was a hot summers day and the garden sprinkler was switched on. I remember being mostly naked and playing with Uncle Phil. We were trying to get the bucket over the sprinkler and getting very wet at the same time. I remember my mother laughing and watching happily while my dad took photos. This is the strongest and happiest memory of this time, if I look back on my life as a child I think this was the perfect day.

I hope I can give you at least one memory as happy as this within the first 4 years of your life.

Written by Administrator

August 22nd, 2007 at 9:15 pm

Posted in Family,Memories

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